Black Solidarity With Palestine | Black Agenda Report

What is remarkable is how this Israeli apartheid regime, and the attendant Palestinian disenfranchisement, has been normalized. Israel is considered a liberal Western state with equal rights and opportunity, and in its attempt to whitewash its violations of international law, it has sought to present itself as enlightened and democratic. It is considered so “vulnerable” a state that it benefits from US government military aid to the tune of $3 billion per year. Its lobbyists and public relations machine work to challenge any call against the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians, particularly its continued theft of land and racist brutality. It is this normalization that has allowed many to remain quiet in the face of such inexcusable barbarity; it is also what has made the brave and consistent Palestinian resistance to this occupation difficult to accept and champion.This is why this hunger strike is important. In the face of the normalization of Israeli terror, increasing subjugation, lack of legal recourse, and lack of access to the outside world, a hunger strike is the most significant nonviolent resistance. At this point, hunger strikes are some of the few remaining tools available to Palestinians. “Hunger for Dignity” has been their rallying cry, and it has galvanized Palestinian society. Thousands have been emboldened by the bravery of the strikers, taking to the streets express support even in the face of mass arrests and more detention.“Thousands have been emboldened by the bravery of the strikers.”The Palestinian cry for dignity especially demands Black support. While the predicament of Palestinians is rarely mentioned in prominent Black circles, Palestine was an important issue during the Black Power years as radicals identified with and embraced the anticolonial struggle against Israel. Huey Newton, even under allegations of anti-Semitism, stated, “…we are not against the Jewish people. We are against that government that will persecute the Palestinian people…The Palestinian people are living in hovels, they don’t have any land, they’ve been stripped and murdered; and we cannot support that for any reason.” More recently, Alice Walker’s experiences in Gaza and the West Bank, demonstrated to her that the struggles for human dignity and freedom are similar everywhere, that, for subjugated populations, those in power don’t see them as human beings. She made the direct connection to the Black experience: “Going through Israeli checkpoints is like going back in time to American Civil Rights struggle.” Here, she echoes scholar Robin D. G. Kelley who, in his travels through the occupied territories, passing through checkpoints, observing day to day oppression and dispossession, described the situation in these terms: “I witnessed a level of racist violence that I hadn’t even seen growing up as a black person here in the States…I have to say, and I’ve been beat by the cops. The level of racist violence from the settlers is kind of astounding.”

via Black Solidarity With Palestine | Black Agenda Report.


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